sMOTHERING by Wendy French


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Take my mom . . . please.

Claire doesn’t know what to do when her mother shows up in Portland (Oregon) for an unexpected visit with a ten-ton Samsonite suitcase. Looks like it’s going to be the week from hell . . . hey, how long does Mom plan to stay anyway? And what’s with the unhappy face? Claire runs through the usual list: her slovenly housekeeping, her lack of marriage prospects, her tragic inability to prepare balanced meals featuring the Four Food Groups, her otherwise perfect sister’s lesbian proclivities. Claire will have to figure it out some other time, though, because if she’s late to her crummy telephone-survey job, she might, like, get a memo from Neal, her stupid boss. She misses her bus. She gets the memo. Her busy-bee mom left messages with the blabbermouth receptionist wanting to know where the vacuum is and advising cotton panties for those pesky yeast infections Claire seems to have, if the contents of her medicine cabinet are any indication. Could this day get any worse? Yes. Neal treats her to a big-thrill lunch, chewing his fried mozzarella sticks with his mouth open, and makes her an offer she wishes she could refuse. How would Claire like to supervise her disgruntled colleagues, make sure their work is up to par, and report back to him? As if enough people don’t hate her already, but she can’t say no because a 53-cent raise is the difference between abject poverty and just plain poverty. Maybe things are looking up. And Adam Carello, the object of her occasional fantasies, just invited her out. He’s so cute, what with that chipped front tooth and bed hair. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, storm clouds are gathering. Apparently Dad is having an affair—but hold the phone . . . did you say Mom had an affair? With that life-of-the-party neighbor who looks like a giant hard-boiled egg? Sex? With him? Growing up might not be worth it after all.

Smoothly written first outing and, all told, really pretty amusing.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-765-30793-6
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Forge
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2003